Get “In the Mood” to Swing with Music@theJ

ACE celebrates the legends who put America “In the Mood” with a concert celebrating musicians Benny Goodman, George Gershwin, Artie Shaw, the Barry Sisters, Irving Berlin and more. The evening concludes with a dance party featuring swing dance numbers, and special performances by local swing dancers.

Enjoy big band hits, Broadway show tunes, and popular songs from the 30s and 40s. Featuring clarinetist Joe Lukasik, vocalist Faye Nepon, David Fulker on trumpet and flugelhorn, and with the Mark Diamond Big Swing Trio

“If It Ain’t Got that Swing: Benny Goodman, George Gershwin, Artie Shaw, Irving Berlin and Beyond” takes place Sunday, October 28, at 7 pm at the Boulder JCC. Tickets are $25 in advance/$30 at the door. REGISTER HERE.

ACE is also offering two swing dance classes with Mamie Kakes, on Oct. 17 and 22. The first class is for beginners. The second is for anyone who takes the first class, or anyone wanting to brush up on their skills. No partner required. REGISTER HERE.

On Monday, October 22, 2 pm, ACE presents a special screening of the documentary “From Shtetl to Swing,” detailing the influence of klezmer on American Jazz. REGISTER HERE.


“Between 1880 and 1924, two and a half million Jews had reached the breaking point. Fleeing persecution in Russia and Eastern Europe, they packed up kit and kaboodle, kissed the shtetl goodbye, and migrated to the U.S. of A.

America was about to completely reshape the Jewish identity. In turn, the Jewish popular song would take 20th century American music on a joy ride to beat the band!

Irving Berlin, George Gershwin, Jerome Kern, Larry Hart, Benny Goodman, Al Jolson, the Marx Brothers, Sophie Tucker, Fanny Brice, Molly Picon, Eddie Cantor, Sholom Secunda, Ben Pollack, Gene Krupa, Harold Arlen, Artie Shaw, the Barry Sisters…

These Lower East Side street kids became cultural pioneers. Eager to shake off their “greenhorn” past, they throw off the yoke of tradition, while taking full advantage of their Yiddish musical heritage. They dive into America’s cross-cultural mix and absorb ethnic influences and Negro rhythms right and left.
What emerged was the cross-pollination of Jewish music and Black music – two traditions born out of exile and longing, both charged with boundless energy and humor, defying all the rules, and blessed with astonishing tonal freedom. Together they blossom into a completely new, extremely diverse musical lexicon that truly gave voice to the American melting pot.

Turning a fresh, scholarly, playful eye to the cultural attitudes and musical styles that proliferated throughout this extraordinarily rich period, to its collective journey from synagogue choirs to Harlem hotspots, from Yiddish theater to musical extravaganza, from klezmer to ragtime, from symphonic jazz to swing – all the way from the Bowery to Tin Pan Alley to Broadway to Hollywood – FROM SHTETL TO SWING recounts the ebullient, screaming-to-be-told story of a musical metamorphosis born in darkest Russia, only to blaze across the sky of the Great White Way.”

About Kathryn Bernheimer

Kathryn has spent her professional life writing about, teaching, and presenting the arts. Founding Director of the Boulder Jewish Film Festival, Kathryn was Director of Menorah and ACE at the Boulder JCC from 2003 through August, 2019. The former film and theater critic for the Boulder Daily Camera, Kathryn is the author of "The Fifty Greatest Jewish Movies" and "The Fifty Funniest Films of All Time."

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